September 15, 2004


The Independent explains Rathergate to its Bush-hating audience:

America's presidential campaign has moved from the furious to the near farcical, amid a "dirty tricks" controversy over the authenticity of 30-year-old documents dealing with George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard.

A CBS news report last week featured previously unpublished memos purporting to be from Bush's commander of the day, suggesting the well-connected future president received special treatment in gaining a slot in the guard in 1968 to avoid being sent to Vietnam, and benefited from political pressure to have his assessments presented favourably.

But within 24 hours the documents were being challenged - raising suspicions that CBS had fallen victim to a hoax by Bush supporters to discredit critics of the President's military record.

If there’s evil afoot, you just know Bush and his wicked minions are somehow involved. Speaking of feet:

You've heard the phrase "waiting for the other shoe to drop." Well, usually once the second shoe drops, it's over. But there are so many shoes dropping in the CBS forged documents scandal, Dan Rather has to be wondering whether the guy dropping the shoes is a millipede.

And the OmbudsGod reports that newly-anointed "documents expert" Bill Glennon wasn’t allowed to test his expertise on any actual documents:

If you have any doubt but that the Rathergate memos are forgeries, read this piece in the Washington Post. Oh, and as for CBS’s reliance on typewriter "expert" Bill Glannon, CBS wouldn’t even let him look at the actual documents: “Glennon said he is not a document expert, could not vouch for the memos' authenticity and only examined them online because CBS did not give him copies when asked to visit the network's offices."

Posted by Tim Blair at September 15, 2004 02:29 PM

What - you mean it wasn't the Jooooos behind it all????

Posted by: HippyKiller at September 15, 2004 at 02:36 PM

That is gold. Witness also the spin being put on the florida story - Jeb Bush's adminstration stepping in to keep nader on the ballot is a 'trick' by republicans desperate to keep him on there. Rarely is it highlighted that the action came about because of desperate democrat tactics to chuck him off.

Their actions make the name 'Democrat' seem rather ironic really.

Posted by: attila at September 15, 2004 at 02:54 PM

Is that what they call a "true rumor"?

Posted by: Jim Treacher at September 15, 2004 at 02:55 PM

Ok all of us people of normal intelligence know perfectly well that these documents are forgeries. There is however one point that "software expert" Richard Katz has made that I haven't got the answer to:

"There's one document from May 1972 that contains a normal "th" on the top. To produce that in Microsoft Word, you would have to go out of your way to type the letters and then turn the "th" setting off, or back up and then type it again,"

Any ideas?

I'm also interested in what people think the longer term repurcussions of Rathergate will be? Will CBS and Rather be able to wriggle out of this one or are they finished?

Posted by: El-Diablo at September 15, 2004 at 03:16 PM

Filthy Bushies, they tricks us! They stealssssss from ussss. They takess the precioussss documentss away from usssssss. We hatess them, we do.

Posted by: Robin Goodfellow at September 15, 2004 at 03:18 PM


With the default settings, to avoid the automatic superscript after pure numeric string just put a space behind it.

Doesn't take a "document expert" to do it.

Posted by: marek at September 15, 2004 at 03:37 PM

AAP are at it again:,4057,10773646%255E1702,00.html

"A group calling itself Swift Boat Veterans For Truth, loosely connected to the Republican Party, has assailed Senator Kerry's much publicised Vietnam War service, saying that he lied to obtain his three Purple Hearts, a Silver Star and a Bronze Star."

And the kicker at the end?

"But the Democrats are fighting back, producing records allegedly showing that Mr Bush used family connections to avoid going to Vietnam, although the White House claims the documents are forgeries. "

So does anybody with two eyes and a brain.

Posted by: attila at September 15, 2004 at 04:34 PM

Sorry to spam up the comments, but i should point out that the rest of that article is equally pathetic, based as it is on a website showing overwhleming support for Kerry in australia, among other places.

in a highly scientific poll of 2002 "australian" visitors to the site, 88% backed kerry.

A look at the site,, shows that the vatican is evenly split, but that the British Indian Ocean Territory is firmly behind Kerry. It is a disgrace that this appears in a 'news' story

Posted by: attila at September 15, 2004 at 04:39 PM

"although the White House claims the documents are forgeries."

Bullshit. The White House has said nothing about them, AFAIK. Am I wrong? Or are Aussie reporters as lazy as ours?

Posted by: Dave S. at September 15, 2004 at 04:58 PM

Rant cleaned up here

Posted by: attila at September 15, 2004 at 04:58 PM

"raising suspicions that CBS had fallen victim to a hoax by Bush supporters to discredit critics of the President's military record."

Case (A) - CBS got the ineptly-forged documents from a Kerry supporter. Conclusion: Democrats are criminal dolts.

Case (B) - CBS got the (intentionally) ineptly-forged documents from a Bush supporter via a duped Kerry supporter. Conclusion: Republicans are evil Machiavellian geniuses, and Democrats are gullible dolts.

Either way, Democrats are dolts.

Posted by: Dave S. at September 15, 2004 at 05:10 PM

CBS will survive. Its current viewership is left-leaning already. The poll is here.

Posted by: Doug at September 15, 2004 at 05:46 PM


Another two simple methods to undo the automatic superscripting in MS Word is to hit alt-backspace after the superscript occurs, or to select the Edit menu and then select Undo.

This, apparently, makes it "impossible."

I'm told ctrl-z also works, but I haven't tried that one.

Posted by: John Nowak at September 15, 2004 at 05:57 PM

CBS will survive. Its current viewership is left-leaning already.

Yes I agree Doug, but it should be noted that their viewers average about a thousand years old.

They probably will weather this, but who cares, they are irrelevant to those of us with a life-span extending beyond the next 15 years.

Posted by: Thomas at September 15, 2004 at 07:51 PM

I realise that there are simple ways of getting rid of the tiny "th" but it still requires a deliberate action and intention. It just seemed strange that the forger would have done it in one instance and not the other. Or is that just further proof of his or her's ineptness?

Posted by: El-Diablo at September 15, 2004 at 10:00 PM

El Diablo, what's your point?

It is possible to generate an utterly and completely identical document in Word, using simple and widely known techniques, like typing. It is not possible to generate an identical document on any known office equipment in 1972, including the Selectric in the Colonel's office.

Just let it go, man. Game. Over. Time to move on to the new game - Whodunnit?

Posted by: R C Dean at September 15, 2004 at 10:33 PM


Haven't the faintest idea why I keep reading about polls taken in other countries. I guess they need to fill up the page? Do they think to influence US voters? If not, what is the point?
Perhaps it's just an interesting, to some, piece of information?

Do people who take these polls think we pick our president because of poll results in other countries? What idiots. I don't care about the polls in my *own country* when voting for the president. Why should I care about polls taken in other countries?

It seems to me that Howard, although not perfect, would be best as PM for Australia. I have stated so on this blog. It would NEVER enter my mind that my opinion would sway any Australian's vote.
It would never enter my mind that Australians would care if polls in the US show Howard was favored or not.

Australians will vote based upon what they believe is in the interest of their own country. So will the US. I assume this is true for other countries as well.

It may be interesting to see what people in other countries think about your president or PM, but how many people base their vote on the opinion of people from other countries? How many people vote based on the popularity, in other countries, of the people they want to vote for?

Perhaps I'm just living in my own little world and not in touch with reality? In my world, the citizens of each country pick people they believe to best lead their country. They don't vote for people just because polls in other countries favor one person over another.

The choice voters have may not be ideal. Sometimes we have to pick between bad and worse. But we do the best we can with the systems we have, while trying to change things we feel are terribly broken.

If anyone HAS voted according to polls, I'd be interested in knowing why.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at September 15, 2004 at 10:47 PM

Whodunnit indeed?

Rather has to know they are forgeries so why is he holding out?

He can get out from under by outing his source. Surely he knows he has no obligation to someone who has deliberately deceived him or does the press now protect charlatans?

There must be something bigger behind all this for Rather to be stonewalling. His problem however is that CBS is taking such a hit to its credibility that management will have to take over and make the required disclosure to make any sort of recovery from this.

The big story now is who manufactured these documents. How good is the blogosphere in running down this story? If it can get to the truth in this story its time will have really come. The pressure on CBS must now be immense.

Posted by: amortiser at September 15, 2004 at 10:56 PM

Or is that just further proof of his or her's ineptness?

Probably. The issue isn't even why there's one normal TH and one superscripted TH. If there was no way for a typewriter to produce that little TH back then (short of taking the freakin' ball out and replacing it with a smaller one to type two letters and then switch back... for a personal CYA memo helpfully titled as a CYA memo written by a man who did not type or keep personal memos... *cough* sorry), then it does not matter how many normal un-superscripted THs there are. The one that's small gives the whole thing away.

Oh, that, and that the entire degraded 30 year old document just happened to degrade in such a way that it perfectly matches MS Word.

Posted by: Sortelli at September 15, 2004 at 11:02 PM

So anyway, don't let someone distract you by pointing out the normal TH. That's like a defense attorney trying to prove that his client's victim was not shot by pointing at a place where the bullet didn't hit and saying "See? No bullet hole!"

Posted by: Sortelli at September 15, 2004 at 11:04 PM

Well for all the Americans reading. My poll of world dictators strongly favours Kerry! So if that doesn't give you some idea of who to vote for in your own election then I don't know what will!

Posted by: Rob Read at September 16, 2004 at 01:14 AM

EW-EEH, Now they've found Jerry Killian's secretary (Dallas Morning News, the 15th), who typed everything for him, is an anti-Bush partisan. Says the memos are fakes, though Killian kept a locked file of "cover his back" memos (which she also typed). Read all about it, as it gets curiouser and more like a who-dunnit.

Posted by: Gerry at September 16, 2004 at 06:40 AM

Yeah. She's lovely because she's going to be the core of the "even if they're fake they are true" argument for CBS. It bothers me that they are even trying that.

Frankly, I'm perfectly willing to accept the idea of Bush dodging Vietnam in the TANG. The only shocker in this story is how brazen an arm of the DNC the media really is. Does anyone remember Rather making a big deal out of a certain other president's draft dodging in the 90's?

Posted by: Sortelli at September 16, 2004 at 08:22 AM